By Bobinec, Greg on March 16, 2020.
COVID-19 has not only taken over international news the last couple of weeks, it has also taken over the access communities have to various businesses, associations, events and locations, as communities work to stop the spread of the pandemic.
As there are still no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Lethbridge, many organizations are taking proactive steps to prevent the spread throughout the city.
In the last few days, Lethbridge College and University of Lethbridge have found alternative routes to deliver education to their students without them on campus, the Enmax Centre has rescheduled and postponed any concerts or WHL games over the next month, Exhibition Park has cancelled the annual Home and Garden Show, and New West Theatre has cancelled their production of “Dear Johnny Deere.”
Over the weekend, a variety of different events made announcements of their cancellations including the University of Lethbridge’s annual 5 Days for the Homeless campaign. Lethbridge and District Music and Speech Arts Festival has been cancelled until next year, and the Lethbridge Public Library has suspended all public programs and external room bookings until March 31.
The cancellation of many local events is due to the recent announcement from the Government of Alberta stopping all public gatherings of over 250 people, leaving many events that attract thousands of people forced to cancel or reschedule.
In addition to events cancelling, the Alberta government also made an announcement Friday about the recommended minimization of visitors to provincial parks. Although the parks are not closed, some face partial closures, and all parks continue to work at maintaining the facilities to Alberta Health Services guidelines.
“Given recent recommendations from Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, we feel it is in the best interest of prospective visitors, staff and volunteers to implement temporary facility access restrictions at some Alberta Park sites,” says Jason Nixon, Minister of Environment and Parks. “We will continue to monitor the situation and encourage everyone to follow the guidelines.”
During the COVID-19 pandemic, residents are encouraged to practice social distancing when in crowds, at work, or anywhere else. Keeping hands away from the face, as well as regularly washing hands with soap is the best preventative from spreading the infection. As there is still no active case in Lethbridge, community members are encouraged to remain calm, gather supplies for only two or three days, and call Alberta Health Link at 811 if you are experiencing symptoms. Citizens are reminded to not go to the emergency room or health clinics if you think you have contracted COVID-19, but to call the Health Link to get in contact for infection testing.
Follow @GBobinecHerald on Twitter